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Name: In re Gael C. (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 220
Case #: B317838
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/09/2023

Father’s appeal of juvenile court’s jurisdiction and disposition orders became moot when he failed to appeal the order terminating jurisdiction. The minors were removed from the parents due to domestic violence. The juvenile court found jurisdiction and removed the minors from Father’s care, placing them in the custody of Mother. Father appealed this decision. About nine months later, the juvenile court terminated its jurisdiction and issued custody orders. Father did not appeal this order. Division Seven of the Second Appellate District dismissed the appeal, finding that the case was moot based on its own precedent in In re Rashad D. (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 156, 164, which held that in order to provide Father relief, the reviewing court would have to reverse not only the jurisdiction and disposition orders, but also the orders terminating jurisdiction. Because Father did not appeal the exit orders, they are not subject to appellate review and the reviewing court lacks jurisdiction to review or change Father’s visitation rights. Further, the juvenile court has no jurisdiction to conduct further hearings in the now-closed case. The reviewing court declined to exercise discretionary review of the case, despite mootness, because the harm that Father identified (reduced visitation) cannot be rectified by reversing the jurisdiction finding. Further, Father had agreed to the visitation plan, which was the product of mediation.